The ‘Godfather of Swing’ will be making a brief stop off in the UK this week – and has chosen North Herts as his destination.

The Comet: Ray Gelato smoking a cigar. Picture: Courtesy of Robin CampbellRay Gelato smoking a cigar. Picture: Courtesy of Robin Campbell (Image: Courtesy of Robin Campbell)

Ray Gelato is back on home soil after a tour of Israel and is heading to Hitchin on Saturday for Club 85’s JazzUP! event – before jet-setting to Italy for a residency at The Blue Note Milan jazz club.

Jazz entertainer Gelato has been taking his special brand of music including rhythm and blues all over the world from Brazil to New York City since 1988.

The musician’s illustrious career includes a long-established residency at London’s world-famous Ronnie Scott’s, where he appears every Christmas.

Gelato is a celebrated performer and has entertained the Queen and supported Robbie Williams at the Albert Hall, while being chosen to appear at the wedding of Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

The Comet: Singer/musician Rachel Farrow will be supporting at the Ray Gelato gig. Picture: Courtesy of Robin Campbell.Singer/musician Rachel Farrow will be supporting at the Ray Gelato gig. Picture: Courtesy of Robin Campbell. (Image: Courtesy of Robin Campbell)

It is said that Gelato delivers a high energy show that never fails to get a crowd on its feet.

One of his most memorable highlights was an appearance at New York’s Lincoln Centre in front of nearly 3,000 people.

The entertainer has 10 albums to his name. The Daily Telegraph gave his last release five stars, stating: “This album is a joyous delight.”

And The Times’ Clive Davis wrote: “Whether he is blowing a romantic Ben Webster-style ballad, or vamping it up on a huge-toned R&B fuelled Boulevard of Broken Dreams, the stylish, sharp-suited Gelato brings an unmistakable physical presence to the bandstand. He is a larger than life character.”

Most recently Gelato headlined at the Umbria Jazz Festival playing in the main arena to thousands of his Italian fans.

In Hitchin he will be joined on stage by trombonist and JazzUP! founder Dave Keech, who was a member of the group for several years. He toured with Gelato extensively and appears on his classic album ‘The Full Flavour’. The powerhouse rhythm section includes Gelato’s regular bassist and pianist, Manuel Alvarez and Gunther Kurmayr.

The band will be supported by Rachel Farrow – a versatile singer and musician.

Tickets are available in advance only from – there will be no tickets on the door. They cost £15 plus booking fee, or £10 with a JazzUP! loyalty card. Doors open at the Whinbush Road venue at 7.45pm.